Thursday, February 12, 2009

February 2009 - WANT: Must we resolve conflicting wants?

What if our wants conflict with each other?
For example, I want to eat the birthday cake, but I also want to stick to my diet plan.

What if our wants conflict with someone else's wants?
For example, I want to watch a loud action movie with my honey, but she wants to have us go some place quiet and talk.

Must we resolve these conflicts?
Can we have it both ways?
Are wants so important that they should not be compromised?

One of the curious things that we recently learned is that for the most part each of us gets to make the rules we live by. In addition, these rules aren't fixed in stone.

Part of the issues that we are currently experiencing in the world were the result of people sticking to rules that had become outdated, were incorrect to start with or the situation changed and now calls for new rules.

Back to the point of must we resolve conflicting wants.
The answer is a resounding some times.
If your want hurts someone else, you may wish to review it.
If your want would harm you or someone either now or in the future, you also may wish to review it.
Also, some times want and now are thought of as synonymous. They aren't. Wanting and getting may occur at vastly different timings.

So looking back at the examples from above, it may be as simple as compromise.
Compromising about the when, where, how, who or what may have the effect of resolving any conflicts. If not, perhaps a new rule needs to be formed. If that's not it, then perhaps the reasons behind the want or the reasons behind the conflict are the most important things to review.

Remember, as much as we want everything to be black and white, shades of gray are the norm. If everything is only yes or no; black or white; I want or you want; I get or you get, then more conflicts arise. Many talk about win-win situations. Those aren't always possible.

As my partner sometimes says, pick your battles. Is this issue big enough that you are willing to die on this particular sword? If so, then go for it. If not, try to see the whole thing from the other's point of view. Stories talk of the willow that bends with the winds to remain standing, while a mighty tree that stands firmly upright is snapped, ending its existence.

After 10+ years with my partner, she and I have found that even our conflicts have threads of commonality. Once we have discovered what is common, the conflicts lessen and in most cases we both get what we want. The more times the common threads are discovered, the less conflicts exist. Another view on this is when you don't always put self before others. Conflict of wants tend to disappear when you are thinking of the others wants, then your own.

Enough rambling. Hopefully, I said something worth reading. If not, forgive me. If so, enjoy!

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